Press Release issued by the President IATO, Expressing disappointment on tourism being totally ignored by the Government during relief announcements
17th May 2020
To All Members,
Sub: Press Release issued by the President IATO, Expressing disappointment on tourism being totally ignored by the Government during relief announcements.
After the Press Conference by the Finance Minister today about the relief package, following Press Release has been issued by the President, IATO.
This is for your information.
17th May 2020
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO's) President Mr. Pronab Sarkar express his disappointment on tourism being totally ignored by the Government during relief announcements
After the today’s press conference by the Finance Minister about the relief package, Pronab Sarkar, President Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) expressed his disappointment on tourism being totally ignored in spite of the fact, our Hon’ble Prime Minister recognising the role of tourism in economic development of the country and mentioning tourism in all his speeches during his all foreign visits, mentioning tourism as one of 5 T’s during his first tenure, from the rampart of Red Fort and also tourism being included in the champion sectors.
We have been completely disappointed by government's lack of empathy for the suffering of tourism sector. This sector directly and indirectly employs about 4 crores people yet not a single word of solace for the sector in the entire five press conferences held by FM.
We have borne the maximum brunt of this pandemic and an industry of the size of Rs. 18 lakh crore is on the brink of collapse. Tourism industry was the first, which was affected even before the lockdown in the month of February, when the international flights and visa got cancelled starting with China, followed by Italy, Iran, Korea and then followed by all the countries. Lack of any mitigating announcement by the Finance Minister in the series of announcements made, only goes to show that government consider the entire sector not worthy of any attention. The government says take loans to pay salaries, by the way which business takes loans on interest for paying salaries, the loans are meant for expansion, when the business is not happening what will we expand. We had requested for financial support, refund of advance payments made to the airlines for air tickets, refund of advance payments made for luxury trains and wildlife safaris and all this funds stuck with the airlines, state government, abolishing GST, reducing VISA fee and several other measures all that would have made India an attractive inbound destination. The neighbouring countries are already ahead of us in these measures and as and when inbound tourism starts we shall go down further in the wish list of travellers.
We still hope the government would consider our plight and would come out with suitable measures alleviating our pain and would help to survive during the pandemic situation.
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is an apex body representing more than 1700 inbound tour operators and other segments of the tourism industry.